It is just over two and a half years since the launch of the so-called Arab Spring. The Middle East is notoriously unstable and volatile, yet the world media rushed to romanticise the protests and violence in the streets as "the Arab Spring!" Enthusiastic reporters gushed over how this was a democratic movement of freedom, just like the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Iron Curtain, which brought unprecedented freedoms to Eastern Europe. News Reports and articles on radio, TV and in newspapers and magazines worldwide, trumpeted the flourishing of democracy, pluralism, freedom and tolerance in the Middle East! A new era of democratic freedom was dawning! Or so the mass media would have had us believe.
However, as Radical Islamists replaced previously moderate governments, the enthusiasm waned. A seemingly never-ending stream of stubborn reality shook the enthusiastically proclaimed illusions. Tunisia had previously been recognised at the most tolerant of all Muslim states in the Middle East. However, graphic footage was screened of a young convert to Christianity being beheaded, while Islamic militants recited the Quran and chanted Islamic slogans and curses in Arabic. Some may have begun to doubt the tune of the pied piper, which were leading foreign governments over the cliff into supporting radical Jihadists, hell-bent on exterminating Christians and annihilating the state of Israel.
Islamic Violence Explodes Against Christians
Car bombs, assassinations and mob attacks on Christian churches in Egypt, murders of believers and bombing of churches in Iraq, waves of car bombs in Northern Nigeria attacking Sunday congregations, along with stoning to death of converts to Christianity in Somalia and mass imprisonments in Eritrea, bombing and bulldozing of churches in Sudan, all these were inconvenient stubborn facts that challenged the talking heads and editorialists who celebrated the demonstrations and uprisings throughout the Middle East.
Egyptians are outraged at how gullibly the West swallowed the propaganda of radical Islamicists such as the Muslim Brotherhood. Many Egyptian protestors have displayed banners declaring: Obama supports terrorism! A pervasive opinion in Egypt today is: Obama owes the Egyptian people an apology and the taxpayers of America a refund!
They point out that within a week of the start of the protests in Tahrir Square in Cairo, 25 January 2011, Barrack Obama joined the chorus of calling for President Mubarak to leave office - immediately! This despite the fact that President Mubarak was a loyal ally of America. Indeed the Americans State Department had regularly pointed out that Hosni Mubarak's government was one of their foundation stones for peace in the Middle East. Under President Sadat, Egypt had signed an historic peace treaty with the state of Israel in 1979. Egypt continued to pressure the Palestinians, suppress Al-Qaida and did its utmost to contain the threat of Iran and its Shiite militants. However, Obama followed the pied piper of the phony Arab Spring over the foreign policy cliff.
Shortly after President Mubarak was overthrown, the Obama administration began actively supporting the Muslim Brotherhood which they described as "a force for moderation in the Middle East!" Considering that it was the Muslim Brotherhood who assassinated President Sadat, and launched the Al-Qaida terrorist movement, this perspective still seems incomprehensible to the average Egyptian.
Avoiding Constitutional Safeguards
The Muslim Brotherhood pressured for elections as soon as possible, as the best way for them to gain and consolidate power. Most in Egypt wanted to wait until a constitutional convention has convened and a new blueprint for Egypt was written. However, the Muslim Brotherhood was not interested in any constitutional convention and raced towards premature elections. As they were the only organised political grouping prepared to exploit the situation, they stood to benefit the best from an early election. Obama supported them in this.
A Deafening Silence
However, within mere months of the highly questionable elections, which catapulted Morsi to power, Obama was silent, when in December 2012, Morsi assumed dictatorial powers and pushed through a Muslim Brotherhood constitution. Egyptians were horrified as Obama ignored his own Congress three times and maintained full funding of Egypt, despite the fact that the Morsi government had abandoned its democratic and pluralistic promises.
Despite the Muslim Brotherhoods frequently repeated intentions to tear up the peace treaty with the state of Israel and launch a war to the death against the Israelis, Obama continued to pour generous funding in hundreds-of-millions of Dollars to the Muslim Brotherhood, even equipping them with advanced US fighter jets.
Turning a Blind Eye to a Tsunami of Atrocities
Obama remained silent throughout the last year as increasingly large numbers of Egyptian demonstrators assembled to oppose Morsi's unconstitutional power grabs. Obama was also apparently unmoved as hundreds of churches were attacked, torched, bombed, burned and Christians massacred by Islamic radicals in Egypt. Obama was also silent as Morsi courted Iran. Indeed US taxpayer money, over US$1.6 billion, continued to flow to the Muslim Brotherhood!
Supporting Extremism and Ignoring the Pleas of the Egyptian People
The American Ambassador to Egypt, Ann Patterson, and Obama remained the Muslim Brotherhood's chief champions, even as multiplied millions of Egyptians mobilised in the largest demonstrations in the country's history against Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood regime. Incredibly, Ambassador Patterson met with the Coptic pope and told him to keep the Coptic Christians out of the protests!
Egyptians have expressed their shock at the double standards of Obama, who was so quick to call for Mubarak to step down in 2011, actually called for the protestors against Morsi to exercise restraint! Obama then ignored the voice of the Egyptian people during his vacation in Africa.
The first time Obama has threatened to curtail US funding of the Egyptian Military was Wednesday last week, as the military responded to the demands of the public to depose the dictatorial Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood regime, installing the Chief Justice as interim Head of State.
Short Sighted and Counter Productive
Commentators in Egypt have pointed out that developments have now proved how short sighted US strategy in Egypt has been, and how it has severely damaged, not only America's interests, but undermined trust in America's integrity.
An Egyptian Christian's Perspective
The Director of the Bible Society in Egypt, Ramez Atallah, has sent out a newsletter declaring: "The real picture from the inside is radically different from what you imagine." Atallah said that he and his wife, Rebecca, have participated in the demonstrations demanding Morsi's resignation. He noted that "the concern, enthusiasm, passion and love for our country, which we all shared, was exhilarating and made us all the more loyal to our great nation." Atallah reported that 17 million Egyptians have publically demonstrated against the Morsi regime and its radical Islamic agenda, despite threats of violence and retaliation from militant Muslims.
Atallah said that the movement was born when Egyptians realised that they could not depend on any foreign powers to resolve their prices. This grassroots movement is truly a movement by, and for, the people to object the autocratic one party rule of the Muslim Brotherhood and the hijacking of Egypt. He said that the military's actions have not been a coup, but a correction to restore the rule of law to Egypt.
A Perspective from Jerusalem
The Jerusalem Post describes Egypt as a "failed state" where "political instability is inevitable" in the foreseeable future. They point out that the Muslim Brotherhood has at least 20% of the population committed to their radical agenda and cannot be expected to accept this reversal of fortunes. The millions of Muslim Brotherhood supporters are "just as fanatical today as they were last week." They note that the military and judiciary are likely to be more respectful of the lives and property of Christian Copts, than the Muslim Brotherhood have been, but they will not be pro-Western, nor any less anti the Israeli state. The Jerusalem Post point out that every Arab state suffers from "instability, coups, take-overs, civil wars, mass protests and political insecurity" from time to time. They often cannot feed their own people, they generally fail to educate their own people, and have no private sector to speak of and therefore discourage foreign investment. The Jerusalem Post predicts a Middle East engulfed by civil war, revolution and chronic instability, to a large extent, enabled and aggravated by "a small, irrelevant America" whose chronically short-sighted and counter-productive policies in recent years have been eloquently repudiated by recent events.
A Pattern of Persecution
Wherever Christians live alongside large numbers of Muslims, they are under relentless attack, even if Africa, where Christianity has spread the fastest over the last century, Islamic persecution of Christians is pervasive. Even in countries where Christians outnumber Muslims, such as Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania, churches are being regularly attacked by Muslim Jihadists.
Eradicating Christianity in its Birthplace
North Africa and the Middle East is the birthplace of Christianity. Yet, it now has the smallest regional Christian minority in the world. Over 93% of the Middle East is Muslim, less than 4% is Christian. Less than 0.6% of the worlds 2.2 billion Christians live in the Middle East and North Africa.
War Against Christianity in Egypt
For over a thousand years Christians made up the majority of the population in Egypt. However, now Christians are less than 12% of the total population in Egypt. The Egyptian police under the Muslim Brotherhood, have generally refused to intervene and protect the lives and property of Christians as they have been assaulted, assassinated and attacked by Muslim mobs. In many cases the mobs were mobilised by Islamic leaders in mosques and through the megaphones on minarets, to throw stones and petrol bombs at Christian churches and to assault Christian worshippers. The Muslim assailants have not being charged, or prosecuted under the Muslim Brotherhood. Egyptian courts under Morsi sentenced entire families to prison for converting to Christianity. Christian teenage girls have been abducted, forcibly converted to Islam and married to older men, or trafficked into prostitution rings.
Your Ignorance and Indifference is Killing our People
Persecuted Christians in Egypt express their shock that western governments and Christian churches are generally so silent about this rising tsunami of Islamic hatred and violence against Christians, in what was the birthplace of the Christian Church. Generally speaking, not only have the secular media failed to report this horrific persecution of Christians in the Middle East, but so too have the Christian media. "Your ignorance and indifference is killing our people!" declared one Bishop.
"And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it, or if one member is honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are the Body of Christ, and members individually." 1 Corinthians 12:26-27
Remember the Persecuted
More than 400 million Christians in 66 countries worldwide are suffering under religious persecution. Yet little is heard about this and many churches give little, or no, attention to remembering the persecuted, praying for the persecuted, and serving the persecuted churches.
"Remember the prisoners as if chained with them – those who are mistreated – since you yourselves are in the body also." Hebrews 13:3
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
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